HK fail to capitalise on opportunities

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2005, 12:00am

Hong Kong failed to take their chances as Singapore battled back for a 1-1 draw in their opening encounter in the four-nation MIA International Hockey Cup at the Delta Stadium last night.

A field goal by dazzling striker Asghar Ali in the first half gave Hong Kong the desired start but new coach Kevin Knapp was left frustrated as he watched his charges fail to score off numerous chances.

'I am disappointed only because we created enough chances to win the match easily. Unfortunately it was not our day and we saw the woodwork twice deny us goals,' said Knapp.

To make matters worse for Hong Kong, the hosts levelled the score with just five minutes remaining when Harinder Singh converted a penalty corner to make it 1-1.

'This was a game we should have won. We had a lot of chances but luck was also not with us,' said Hong Kong manager Billy Dillon. 'Soon after Asghar's field goal, Arif Ali saw his shot bounce off the crossbar. If that had gone in, it would have taken the fight out of the Singaporeans.'

Prolific Asghar Ali showed his class once again when, early in the match, he beat two defenders and then reverse hit through the Singaporean goalkeeper's pads to give Hong Kong a 1-0 lead.

Hong Kong failed to press home their advantage, but goalkeeper Chan Ka-kei pulled off numerous saves to keep the SAR in the match.

'Chan was coming off a hamstring injury and had a good game as did a number of other guys who were playing for the first time,' said Knapp.